Having plus-sized models in the mainstream is a great thing. Beautiful women like Ashley Graham, Iskra Lawerence, and Robyn Lawley have put curvier bodies in the limelight and in the fashion industry. However, there is still a large problem with how larger bodies are portrayed in society.
Anyone with eyes can realize bodies with traditionally “beautiful” hourglass and pear-shaped bodies are prioritized in plus-sized modeling. It seems like that “plus-sized fashion” bible dictates models must have large thighs, a large butt, a large chest, and then a small waist and small arms.
This is damaging for multiple reasons. First, it isn’t representative of the diverse bodies which exist in society. Most mainstream plus-size models with commercial deals tend to be size 14, the very first size most retailers consider plus size, or smaller. And while modern plus-sized models may be closer in size to the average american woman, they don’t represent the different body types or skin colors of women in America.
The next problem with only allowing those with hourglass or pear body shapes to plus-size model at center stage? Right now, “thick” bodies are trendy. Bodies with large thighs and large chests but a small waist are the ideal. When society moves on to the next body trend — maybe the “boyish” bodies of the 20s or the wispiness of the 90s — will currently popular plus-sized models be less accepted?
By calling only “skinny thick” plus-size models beautiful, the plus-size modeling industry is going to be destroyed when “skinny thick” is no longer the trend. Rather than focusing all attention on the beauty of “thick” curvy women, fashion should be working to make sure women of all shapes are publicly declared beautiful and worthy of modeling. When all women are beautiful, no body type be shamed when a trend comes to an end.
Iskra Lawrence is beautiful. Ashley Graham is beautiful. And plus-sized models shaped like them should feel absolutely no pressure to change their bodies or stop modeling. Instead, the fashion industry should work towards pairing them with more diverse plus-sized models.